Friday, May 18, 2012
Hibbert, home cooking power Pacers
By ESPN Stats & Information
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesAfter they split two games in Florida, the Indiana Pacers returned home and handed the Miami Heat a 19-point loss Thursday night to take the series lead.
Roy Hibbert and the Pacers dominated the Heat in Indianapolis on Thursday, taking the series lead with a 19-point win.
The Pacers lost their first playoff game at home, against the Orlando Magic, but have won their past three home games by a combined 52 points. All three of the victories have been by at least 15 points.
The key Thursday was Roy Hibbert, who finished with 19 points and 18 rebounds, both of which are career playoff highs. With Hibbert on the floor this series, the Pacers have outscored the Heat by 30 points; when he has been on the bench, they’ve been outscored by 17.
After not getting any support for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in Game 2, the Heat’s leading scorer Thursday night was Mario Chalmers. It was the first time in 29 playoff games over the past two seasons that the leading scorer wasn’t one of the Big Three.
The Heat needed those points to offset the lack of production by Wade, who scored just five points. It was the second-lowest scoring playoff game in his career and the first time he scored fewer than 10 points since the first postseason series of his career, in 2004.
Part of the reason for his lack of scoring was his inability to get inside. Eleven of his 13 shots were from at least 10 feet out. His two field goal attempts from inside 10 feet were his fewest this season -- regular season plus playoffs -- and second fewest of his postseason career.
Wade didn’t have any more success filling the stat sheet elsewhere. Among players on the court for at least 35 minutes, he was the first since Eric Snow in 2001 to record no more than five points, rebounds or assists while turning the ball over at least five times.
The Heat have struggled to get out in transition against the Pacers. They scored 10 transition points on 39 percent shooting in Game 3 and have been outscored in transition over the first three games of the series.
Against the New York Knicks in the first round, the Heat shot 59 percent in transition and scored 39 more points than they allowed.
The Heat are even having trouble on open jumpers. In unguarded, catch-and-shoot situations, Miami made just two of 12 shots in Game 3. Against the Knicks, the Heat made 42 percent of these shots.
This is the eighth time LeBron’s team has lost back-to-back games in a playoff series. If the past is any indication, it doesn’t look good for the Heat. James’ team lost six of those previous seven series, including the past five.
Statistical support for this story from NBA.com.